Sierra Leone: NPWJ welcomes the organisation of a Regional Conference on the Abolition of the Death Penalty

14 Jan, 2014 | Press Releases

Brussels, 14 January 2014

No Peace Without Justice congratulates Hands Off Cain and its partners, in particular the Government of Sierra Leone, for the organisation of a Regional Conference on the Abolition of the Death Penalty in Freetown, Sierra Leone on 13-14 January 2014.

Participants at the conference included Emma Bonino, Italian Foreign Minister and founder of No Peace Without Justice; Ministers and governmental delegations; parliamentarians and civil society actors from Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and representatives of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and Parliamentarians for Global Action.

The purpose of this event was to support the ongoing abolitionist process in Sierra Leone and to foster political commitment from African States to strengthen the resolution for a moratorium on executions to be voted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2014.

Since President Ernest Bai Koroma came to office in 2007, there have been no executions carried out in Sierra Leone; in fact, the death penalty has not been carried out in the country for the past 14 years. In 2011, on the occasion of Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations, President Koroma commuted all death sentences of people on death row to life imprisonment. The same year, the Government of Sierra Leone accepted in principle fifteen resolutions issued by the UN Human Rights Council calling for the abolishment of the death penalty, subject to a Constitutional Review process which is underway. In recognition of these acts and commitment, President Koroma was awarded “Abolitionist of the Year 2012” by Hands Off Cain.

No Peace Without Justice looks forward to President Koroma’s continued leadership on this issue and to the Government of Sierra Leone taking all necessary steps to abolish the death penalty in national legislation. We also hope the Government of Sierra Leone will demonstrate its commitment at international level by voting in favour of the Universal Moratorium of the Death Penalty expected this year at the United Nations General Assembly.


No Peace Without Justice and Sierra Leone
NPWJ has a long standing commitment to Sierra Leone, including a wide-ranging program in the country from 2000 to 2004 that was designed to contribute to the accountability process for violations of international criminal law. That program contributed to the establishment and functioning of the Special Court and to strengthening Sierra Leonean society’s ability to address violations of human rights and humanitarian law, with a particular focus on outreach and conflict mapping. In recent years, NPWJ has been working in Sierra Leone on ICC issues, including implementing legislation and holding seminars and round table discussions, and on FGM. NPWJ will continue with its involvement in Sierra Leone to facilitate the government and local stakeholders participating in and influencing the processes for maintaining the rule of law, peace and stability.

For further information, contact Alison Smith on or +32-2-548-3912 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32-2-548-3915.